discretion, inspiration, life lessons, love, mindfulness, music, parenting

Gone Fishing

That’s not true – I don’t fish.  I like the visual though – sitting on a boat in still water, line dragging in, bobbin bobbing, silence interrupted only by an occasional gurgle caused by some minor disruption to the water.  The lapping of the water as one adjusts their seating.  I have no need to catch anything – it’s at that point that my revery turns a little discomfiting actually.

But we are heading to the mountains with the majority of our children for a long weekend.  You may remember that this is an annual treat for us all – a chance to play board games, nap, golf, spa, read and catch up with each other.  Oh, and the occasional winery thrown in for good measure.

I apologize for flying below the radar this last week, only to re-surface to write you that I’m heading out of Dodge for a little while.  We’ll leave last week in the past and when I return next week I will be back to my sort of prodigious self (well hardly prodigious when compared to so many of you, but it’s a relative thing, yes?)

I’ll be checking in while we’re gone – and maybe even squeeze out a paean to the mountains majesty and the overwhelming delight in all being in the same place for a little while.  But I leave you now with one of my favorite songs from the wayback machine…Chris Rea – enjoy and I’ll ‘see you soon’…

anxiety, friendship, humor, life lessons, love, mindfulness

Oyez! Oyez!

Let’s just say it’s been a week and leave it at that.  No wait – let’s just say that it’s been a week and I’ve been hacked and my laptop, iPad and iPhone are engaging in acts of such exaggerated non-compliance that I am comparing them to any adolescent who takes pride in exhibiting high levels of snark.

I could go on – but honestly you get the point.   And yes, I am sitting here in my family room engaging in a modified happy dance that it is Friday.  And maybe all of this stuff will get fixed today (these are technical terms I know).

But I can’t leave the week this way.  Sir Bogey has opened his eyes, showing us the bright little gleam that suggests brilliance and wit.  If my understanding of royal baby development is correct, he actually may begin to scoot around with a skosh of intent in a few days.  Happy Friday all…

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humor, love

A Royal Birth

While the world has been waiting to hear of the birth of the future Queen or King of England, there have been very exciting happenings here at the castle.

The Knights have been in deep discussions with the King about the prospect of adding another member to the Round Table.  The King was initially quite indisposed to the idea – let’s just say he exercised vigorous veto power.  Our kingdom didn’t need more royalty, the round table seated everyone comfortably.  Then the Sirs assumed a position that could not be debated – they made room for one more.

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I will say, that I spent a fair amount of time convincing the King that this was a good idea.  True, he called me ‘relentless’, ‘one-tracked’ and thankfully, ‘cute’.  I also received tremendous support from the Regal In-Laws, who prevailed upon their son to be a bit less stubborn when faced with his beloved’s meager request for one more knight..

So without further ado – please meet Sir Bogart – known around the palace as Bogey.  His name is a testament to the King’s love of golf and my insistence that any Knight that joins our round table be above par.  For they are all in my view, way above average.  

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Bogey won’t be ready to come home until late August, but in the interim, we will be visiting him and taking pictures to forward along.  Given the enormity of this announcement, I frankly think that Wills and Kate’s baby is now a second page story  (at least in Vienna, VA).

 

anxiety, humor, life lessons, mindfulness

My Friday Lament

I want to be young again, but I really don’t want to re-live all the lousy stuff that occurs in the normal course of growing up.

I want to be old enough to fully accept that ‘legacy’ has nothing to do with what I did for a living, but what I did with my life – and that it mattered.

I want to find my waist again.

I want my waist not to matter as much as the shape of my soul.

I’d like to have no regrets, yet I regret that I think one can’t live without them.

I want to be remembered despite not having any wish or intent to go anywhere which would prompt people to miss me.

I wonder when I’m going to feel like I’m making my mark, yet delight in doing nothing but watching two fawns practice leaping in my backyard.

I miss the sounds and smells and demands and affection of having little boys, though my sons as adults delight me as no other adults can.

The rain is welcome, despite my wish for the sun.

In my head I’m far younger than the mirror suggests.  I find that a little insulting, and adds still more dissonance.

I want to read and read every book, blog, essay that grabs my curiosity and still take time to relish every sentence that I love.

I want to travel more and still cocoon at home.

I want to dare more though I’ve never been known for  being particularly intrepid.

Nobody gets everything in life; yet everything in life is not worth having.

The ebb and flow of extremes.  The push and pull of our hearts and minds.  It’s ok to grapple with this confusion, I tell myself.  It’s that insistent feeling I have that somehow, we’re supposed to ‘know’ by now.  The irritation I feel when I find that when pressed, I really have no clue – and the smile on my face as I realize that I’ll likely never get off this swing, so while I’m on it I’m just going to see how high I can go.

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I believe I will feel

Bill’s posts have been touching my heart for a long time now (and this is my second re-blog of his this week) – this one though, will echo for a long time..

Dr Bill Wooten

“I used to know a sculptor… He always said that if you looked hard enough, you could see where each person carried his soul in his body. It sounds crazy, but when you saw his sculptures, it made sense. I think the same is true with those we love… Our bodies carry our memories of them, in our muscles, in our skin, in our bones. My children are right here.” She pointed to the inside curve of her elbow. “Where I held them when they were babies. Even if there comes a time when I don’t know who they are anymore. I believe I will feel them here.” ~ Erica Bauermeister

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inspiration, life lessons, love

For Simon

Did you ever hear the one about the parish priest and the Jew?  Gotcha – there’s no punchline..

Simon (simonmarsh.org) is a parish priest in NW England.  I’m – well you know me by now.  We’ve never met, and yet I can assure you he is as much a part of my heart as any beloved friend.  I don’t remember what prompted us to start emailing each other, but shortly after we did, Simon became ill.  His voice was failing him,  a diagnosis proved elusive and his fatigue was almost taunting him.  I fretted – asking all these questions that you would expect – was he able to eat?  Had he tried chicken soup?  Was he getting enough rest?  How was the quality of the medical care?  He would respond when he was able – without complaint.  His tiredness was teaching him patience, he wrote, his hoarseness provided him time to listen to silence.  He was most frustrated that his responsibilities to his parish were being compromised.  And he worried about his wife Jilly.  Simon apologized for not writing more,  reassuring me through this ordeal.  Thanking me for being a worried Jewish mom across the pond (forget that we are close in age, I’ve always had a strong maternal streak).

Simon has improved, his posts are more frequent and I can’t begin to suggest that I understand all that he writes.  What I feel though is palpable – the love of his religion, the celebration of family, the delight in a flower’s budding.  I suppose one can argue that at core, this is what spirituality is predicated upon in its purest sense, and when I read his words from that perspective, I rejoice.

Simon sent an email over the weekend to some of his friends.  It is no exaggeration when I write that I get a visceral reaction whenever I see his name in my inbox.  My friend – he is well, he is in my orbit and I am grateful.  We hope to meet one day – sitting in some coffee shop somewhere.  Perhaps Andy and I will return to England one day; maybe Simon and Jilly will visit the States.  Who knows what fate has in store.  But there was a reason that Simon came into my life – he has taught me that the heart can hold an unimagineable amount of love, that there are people in the world who see us as far, far better than we really are and that perception impels us to try and fit that image.   Simon makes me a better Mimi.  Because he is convinced that I already am.  What do I offer in return?  I have no idea – for whatever it is, it pales in comparison.

Simon and Jilly are off on holiday.  He will likely not even read this anytime soon, but that’s ok.  I wrote this more for me than for him, a meager attempt at acknowledging the power of a friendship that came from the universe and travels with continued enthusiasm across the pond.

Recently Simon posted Mary Oliver‘s “Wild Geese” and though it came from a different place in his thoughts, it is offered here for him.  For Simon, my friend.

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers  itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

Wild_Geese_by_Nigel_Kell

humor, life lessons

Sometimes I Just Say ‘Duh’

Patience, grasshopper,” said Maia.  “Good things come to those who wait.”

“I always thought that was ‘Good things come to those who do the wave,”  said Simon.  “No wonder I’ve been so confused all my life.” —  Cassandra Clare

Ah Simon, whoever you are – I have a feeling we’d be thisclose.  Look, I know I’m of reasonable intelligence, arguably well-educated (but for some semesters which I can’t seem to remember involving any books – or classes for that matter), culturally curious. I delight in the rare occasions when I can throw out a $.75 word correctly.

But boy, some days I feel like I’ve just guzzled a six-pack of stupid and there’s nothing I can do about it, except shrug, burp and laugh.  It’s as if my brain decides that logical or coherent thought is not all it’s cracked up to be and takes its leave – with no notice.  I clean the house and do the laundry before the housekeeper comes and try to use as much bleach and ammonia as possible so that the house smells clean before she arrives.  I spend minutes staring in my closet trying to figure out what to wear.  Um…I’m not working full time anymore.  I wear shorts and t-shirts.  And I’m hangin’ around the house today – why is this a concern for me?  Honestly, the Sirs are so wonderful they think I look fabulous regardless – even when I first wake-up.

On days like this, if my body is in a flare (as it is today), rather than take it easy, I start packing up clothes for AmVets, or rearranging cookbooks while standing precariously on the kitchen counter.  I will walk the dogs just as the sky opens up (you’d think the darkness that descends in advance of the deluge would give me a clue).  Andy comes over to give me a kiss good-bye while saying “See you later”, and I ask “are you leaving now?”  I spend a fair amount of time telling myself I’m just a blithering idiot.

And I laugh – a lot.  I am totally okay with my days-of-stupid.  I’ve been living with them for a long time.  Perhaps there are just days when you have to take a little break from thinking.  And I’ve decided that it isn’t a wasted day – on the contrary, it’s a day well-spent in silliness.  Some adults have forgotten the delight in the doofy – I for one can’t remember a time without it.  Wishing you all a day of giggles of your own design.

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